Queen Elizabeth Just Pulled a Kate Middleton and Got Surprisingly Down & Dirty Outdoors

Life is more fun when you mix things up. Just ask Queen Elizabeth.

The 93-year-old monarch surprised royal fans yesterday when she not only stepped out in a saucier version of one of her fashion staples but also—wait for it—gardened. Looks like it’s not all pomp and circumstance for Queen Elizabeth all the time.

So what sparked this suddenly sassy side of Her Majesty? Well, yesterday she visited the National Institute of Agricultural Botany near Cambridge, which would make anyone want to let their wild side loose (J.K.). Queen Elizabeth set foot on the campus to celebrate 100 years of crop research. But just because she’s a queen doesn’t mean she wasn’t willing to get her hands dirty.

Queen Elizabeth reportedly refused help from NIAB chairman Jim Godfrey when it came time to plant a hornbeam tree. “No, no,” she said when he offered to assist her. “I’m still perfectly capable of planting a tree.”

queen elizabeth planting a tree
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Turns out she totally is. Just look at the finesse with which she piles dirt into that hole, in a hot-pink ensemble and matching cap at that. Tree-planting wasn’t on her itinerary, but sometimes even queens like to push the envelope.

She did employ her lady in waiting to hold her signature Launer purse, however. Afterward, Her Majesty looked at the tree with pride and smiled at a job well done.

But that wasn’t the only unexpected twist she brought to the NIAB visit. In addition to her standard Launer handbag and eye-grabbing outfits, the queen typically dons leather Gucci loafers. For her day of gardening, she decided to mix it up and opted for a snakeskin pair instead. Va-va-voom.

queen elizabeth snakeskin loafers
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Just call her the queen of subtle rebellion. We tip our hats to you, Queen E.


Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.